zaLUG at Brickfair 2023

From 28 to 29 October 2023, thousands of LEGO fans descended on Menlyn Shopping Centre in Pretoria for South Africa’s premier annual LEGO fan event, Brickfair. And this year, it was bigger and better than ever before! In fact, such is the scale of this event that it played host to none other than Joshua and John Hanlon of Beyond the Brick fame all the way from the United States who very kindly posted about many of our displays on their Facebook page!

Imagine more than 270 tables filled with LEGO – everything from LEGO Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, Friends, Ninjago, Technic, Ideas, ICONS and Creator to a vast range of MOCs (my own creations) – built by more than 120 super-fans of the iconic brick.

As you’d expect, zaLUG was front and centre with 76 of our members filling 000 tables with some of the most spectacular displays of the event, including a number of collaborative builds from our various special interest groups or SIGs. Oh, where to begin?

Let’s start with our castle SIG which, with 17 members contributing, managed to fill 00 tables with various castle and fantasy landscapes, all seamlessly integrated since they were built using zaLUG’s modular integrated landscaping standard or MILS. Every time this SIG displays, it just gets better and better! In fact, one of our Castle builders, Paul Doran, walked away with the Brickfair 2023 award for Best Castle or Fantasy display, a very well-deserved win. And, may we just add that John and Joshua Hanlon, who acted as judges for the various prizes on offer, were seriously impressed with the scale and quality of the overall display?

Our sci-fi SIG also came to the party in a big way by contributing displays for 15 tables. The Star Wars theme was strongly represented with various set builds and MOCs like the impressive black Millenium Falcon, as well as another outing of the collaborative build of Tatooine (also built using the MILS standard). And, clearly John and Joshua were just as excited as the rest of us about the fact that Anthony Daniels signed zaLUG member Cavan Rorke’s C3PO display at Comic Con last month because they posted it on Facebook.

Then, of course, we had a huge display of the LEGO Classic Space theme, not to mention the humungous Classic spaceship courtesy of member Paul Rotherham which once again made its annual appearance at the event. And, speaking of Paul, Beyond the Brick also posted a video of his fantastic Lego Motor Company display.

Our Technic-loving members were also out in full force with a huge range of both set builds and MOCs. In fact, the award for the Best Technic Model went to our very own Gerbert Myburgh for his truly impressive and motorised Strandbeest MOC (check out the video on Beyond the Brick).

zaLUG member Riaan Pretorius took home the award for the Best City or Town Build with another of his epic and highly detailed cityscapes. So amazing was his display that Beyond the Brick featured two posts of his build – his McDonalds outlet and his LEGO factory!

Our final zaLUG award winner was Sean Coetzer who snagged the Best in Show award with his jaw-droppingly outstanding Steampunk Airship. You definitely want to check out the video on the Beyond the Brick Facebook page!

Other zaLUG builds that cracked the nod for the Beyond the Brick Facebook page include:

We can’t wait for Brickfair 2024 to see what our members create! Can it top this year? Only time will tell . . .

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